Admittedly, this isn’t the way that I thought the internship would end. But then again, I don’t suppose anyone planned on there being a global pandemic. Meetings have been replaced by Zoom calls, 30-minute commutes have been replaced by 1-minute walks from the bed to the desk and show promotion has been replaced by a whole new virtual experience. What was planned was a video diary, but since most of my work is now done from the dining room table, I thought this would be pretty lacklustre. So, since I can’t make a video diary right now, I thought I’d put pen to paper (well, fingers to keyboard) and write about my experience instead.
At Lakeside, I’ve been working with the Marketing Team and, might I add, what an incredible bunch they are. As someone whose career aspirations don’t quite fit in one box (past interests include: Music Journalism, Events Planning and Advertising), Marketing ticks all of the boxes. Marketing, at Lakeside at least, means you have to be prepared to wear multiple hats. One minute you’re interviewing a curator about their latest exhibition and the next you’re knee deep formatting an Excel spreadsheet. Although this can be annoying when someone asks you “But what do you do?”, the variety that accompanies working in Marketing is exciting, especially when you’re promoting Lakeside’s programme.
Having started in October with only one other 'proper' desk job in my arsenal, I was more than apprehensive about what this new world of work would entail. However, as is the case most of the time, my fears were completely unfounded. Everybody at Lakeside, and at the other host organisations, have been supportive every step of the way. Indeed, the support system created within my cohort is amazing. From group outings, to WhatsApp chats, to chaotic video calls, I’ve built connections with my peers that hopefully will outlast the physical internship experience.
I’ve no doubt about it that if I weren’t to have secured a place on the internship scheme that I’d be on a different path right now.
In addition to the skills that I’ve learned which, fortunately, have cemented that this is the sector I’d like to continue a journey down, I’ve been lucky enough to find myself in an environment filled with the most uplifting, creative energy possible. From hearing Jem Collins (founder of Journo Resources) speak at the Creative Academy about how she’s dedicated to fighting adversity in the field, to speaking to Arun Verma (BBC Radio Nottingham presenter) about how he gave up his job in The City to pursue his radio dream. Even just being surrounded by a team who are always following their own creative pursuits is inspiring, whether that be in art, poetry, music or theatre. You name it, the list goes on.
I guess if I were to take one thing from this experience, it would be to feel the fear and do it anyway. Although the arts is a tough sector to work in, it’s worth every second. Looking back at the person I was in October, I was timid, introspective and had a tendency to remain on the ‘safe’ side of life. I may still be all three of those things, but I like to think that I’ve grown as a person. I feel like I’m coming out of this experience with more confidence, understanding and, perhaps most importantly, a drive to make the creative industries my home.